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60,000 people died of COVID-19 in China in five weeks

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In China, 59,938 people died from COVID-19 in the five weeks from December 8 to January 12, according to the Chinese Medical Administration Office. The British Guardian adds to this information that “the death toll reported on Saturday only includes those who died in hospital and is probably still lower than the true total.”

Jiao Yahui, head of China’s Medical Administration Bureau, reported that between December 8 and January 12, 59,938 people died from COVID-19, of which 5,500 died from respiratory failure, and the rest had comorbidities.

Commenting on the figures, Reuters wrote that they represent a “huge increase” compared to previous figures.

China in the grip of the virus

The death toll reported on Saturday only includes those who died in hospital and is likely still lower than the true total. The daily in its analysis of the epidemic situation in the Middle Kingdom writes that “China is in the grip of a virus wave after the abrupt lifting of the ‘zero covid’ policy in December, with some major cities estimating that 70 to 90 percent of their population has been infected.”

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In early December, Beijing abruptly ended a stringent three-year virus regime of frequent testing, travel restrictions and massive lockdowns. This came after widespread protests in late November. Since then, the number of cases has increased across the country of 1.4 billion people.

Beijing stops publishing the number of infections and deaths. China enters most dangerous weeks of pandemic

Criticism of the Chinese authorities by the WHO

The “Guardian” notes that until Saturday, until the latest figures were released, authorities officially recorded only a few dozen deaths a day from COVID-19.

As he goes on to write, the lower number was due to the narrowing of the definition of death by reason COVID-19. Only people who died of respiratory failure were included in the statistics. World Health ORganisation in early January, it criticized the definition understood in this way as too narrow and insufficiently reflecting the real impact of the scale of the epidemic on the number of deaths.

WHO urges China to keep COVID-19 data available

The threat may increase

A surge in travel ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, when hundreds of millions of people leave big cities for homes in smaller towns and the countryside, has stoked fears that there will be a big surge in cases during the festivities starting on January 21.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/ALEX PLAVEVSKI

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